Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Runaway King (Ascendance Trilogy Series #2)

The Runaway King (Ascendance Trilogy Series #2)

4.8 121
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

See All Formats & Editions

A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive?
Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that


A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive?
Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?
The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this solid sequel to The False Prince (2012), newly crowned King Jaron of Carthya, once a poor orphan known as Sage, must flee the kingdom he has just inherited in order to escape both would-be assassins and the misguided control of his incompetent regents. Although older and supposedly wiser than him, they refuse to believe the evidence that Carthya is about to be attacked by the neighboring kingdom of Avenia, which has made an alliance with the deadly pirates of Tarblade Bay. Jaron, as headstrong and sure of himself as ever (not to mention a terminal smartass), concocts a wild plan to singlehandedly defeat the wicked pirate king Devlin. Unfortunately, by refusing to take advice from anyone, Jaron manages to insult most of the people who are actually loyal to him. As in the earlier book, Nielsen tells an exciting, breakneck tale, and Jaron remains an entertainingly surly antihero; however, while the villains are certainly evil enough, they are perhaps too easily manipulated by the young king. Ages 10–14. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Mar.)
VOYA - Dotsy Harland
The saga of Jaron, who is also known as Sage, continues in Nielsen's sequel to The False Prince (Scholastic, 2012/Voya February 2012). Jaron has ruled the medieval kingdom of Carthya for a very short time when he manages to foil an attempt on his life by his onetime friend, Roden, who has now teamed up with a ruthless group of pirates. Jaron realizes that an attack by the pirates is imminent and that the only way to save Carthya is for him to do away with them singlehandedly. Posing as a common thief, Jaron manages to infiltrate the band of pirates led by Devlin, the pirate king. After numerous twists of fate, he manages to defeat Devlin and his henchmen and return victoriously to Carthya as king. This second book in The Ascendance Trilogy has no shortage of deception and intrigue, and even offers a touch of romance. Jaron is an ethical, mischievous character with a wry sense of humor, and the story is told in first-person from his perspective. Unfortunately, the other characters in the novel are rather flat, and it is difficult to feel any real empathy for or interest in the majority of them. While much of the action is lively, the plot tends to be convoluted and hard to follow in places. In spite of its shortcomings, however, this novel has plenty of heart. Readers who relish adventure stories and fiction about kings, queens, and their kingdoms will most likely enjoy this trilogy. Reviewer: Dotsy Harland
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Jaron, aka Sage, from the The False Prince (Scholastic, 2012), has been king of Carthya for a month. On the night of his family's funeral, he is attacked by Roden, his former friend. The assassination attempt fails, but Roden warns him that pirates will destroy Carthya if he does not surrender in nine days. Knowing that the people closest to him are in the most danger, he sends Imogen away by pretending he no longer cares for her. Gregor, the captain of the guards, wants him to go into hiding and have a steward installed until he is of age, but Jaron has a plan. He will once again become Sage and go to the pirates alone. Through Fink, a local boy, Jaron joins a band of thieves whose leader, Erick, escorts him to the pirates. Once Jaron is branded as a pirate he must decide the best way to challenge Devlin, the pirate king, and stop the impending war against Carthya. Complicating matters is Imogen's presence as a serving girl, her attempts to save Jaron from himself, and the arrival of Gregor. The truth emerges after Roden returns from sea and paves the way for a resolution that satisfies everyone. Despite the intricate and often convoluted plot, this is a fast-paced and thrilling read with twists and turns that never let up. Students will likely devour it and eagerly anticipate the conclusion to the trilogy.—Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Acknowledged as Carthya's rightful king in The False Prince (2012), shrewd prince Jaron disappears in a desperate, foolhardy attempt to save his life, his crown and his country in this action-packed second installment of the Ascendance Trilogy. Barely a month into his reign, 15-year-old Jaron faces rival regents, threats of invasion from neighboring Avenia, a betrothal to a complete stranger and a power-hungry captain of the Carthyan guard who longs to replace him. When he's brutally attacked in the castle gardens, Jaron finds he's in a perilous predicament. He must surrender himself to the destructive Avenian pirates within 10 days or they and their ally, King Vargan of Avenia, will destroy Carthya to get him. Rather than comply, Jaron eschews his few trusted friends and disappears from Carthya, intent on infiltrating the pirates, settling a debt with their conniving leader Devlin and converting enemies into allies. Assuming his former identity as orphan thief Sage, Jaron covertly enters Avenia alone, where he's eventually captured, injured and seemingly doomed. Ever flippant, Jaron narrates his story with dark humor. Readers will continue to find this arrogant, fearless, utterly reckless hero intriguing, fascinating and complex as he battles the odds to protect the kingdom and people he now holds dear. High adventure abounds with nail-biting drama. (maps) (Adventure. 8-14)
From the Publisher

Praise for The False Prince:

A New York Times Notable Children's Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" Children's Book Selection
A Chicago Public Library "Children's Books for Year-Round Gift Giving" Selection
Winner of the Cybils Award for Middle-Grade Fantasy & Science Fiction

"A page-turner." -- New York Times Book Review

"Sage proves to be a compelling character whose sharp mind and shrewd self-possession will make readers eager to follow him into a sequel." -- Wall Street Journal

"A swashbuckling origin story . . . chock-full of alluring details for adventure-loving boys." -- Los Angeles Times

"An impressive, promising story." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Ruthless ambition, fierce action and plotting, complex characters, and lots of sword play keep pages flipping." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Should appeal to fans of . . . Suzanne Collins. . . . A sure-fire mix of adventure, mystery, and suspense." -- The Horn Book

Praise for The Runaway King:

"High adventure abounds with nail-biting drama." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Nielsen tells an exciting, breakneck tale. . . ." -- Publishers Weekly

"A fast-paced and thrilling read with twists and turns that never let up." -- School Library Journal

"As jammed with action and violent swordplay as its predecessor." -- Booklist

"A great read." -- The Horn Book

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
The action begins with the very first line of the book—"I had arrived early for my own assassination"—and it does not stop until the end. When Jaron's parents and older brother are murdered, he is crowned King of Carthya. However, since he is underage, the regents believe it is in the best interest of the country to name a steward to rule until Jaron is old enough for the responsibility. With the King of Avenia and a band of pirates ready to attack Carthya's borders, Jaron decides to take on the pirates by becoming one of them. Unsure of whom he can trust, and not wanting to endanger his friends, Jaron sets out on his own. This is book two in the "Ascendance Trilogy." The author provides enough background from the first book to inform the reader, so this can be read independently. Readers will want to read the final volume, since book two ends with the beginning of war. Fierce battles, warm friendships, and swashbuckling action keep the story moving. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Ascendance Trilogy Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.14(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Jennifer A. Nielsen is the acclaimed author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Ascendance Trilogy: The False Prince, The Runaway King, and The Shadow Throne. She also wrote the Mark of the Thief trilogy: Mark of the Thief, Rise of the Wolf, and Wrath of the Storm; the standalone fantasy The Scourge; the historical thriller A Night Divided; and Book Six of the Infinity Ring series, Behind Enemy Lines. Jennifer lives in northern Utah with her husband, their three children, and a perpetually muddy dog.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Runaway King 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 121 reviews.
JessicaCoffee More than 1 year ago
This blurb doesn't tell nearly enough about everything that happens in book two of the Ascendance Trilogy. As I've just finished it, I'm still attempting to decide what's worth mentioning, and what isn't. What I think, bottom line, though, is that it's important to know that no matter what you think about anyone in THE FALSE PRINCE, you need to have an open mind in THE RUNAWAY KING. So many things are not what they seem in TRK!!! I'll be honest--I'm the first person to admit that I like things wrapped up in a pretty little bow and completely resolved. So, going into THE RUNAWAY KING, after having so much happen in THE FALSE PRINCE, I wanted to enjoy the fact that things had finally been fixed and Jaron (or is it Sage???) was the ruler of Carthya. (YAY) So when conflict arose (almost immediately), I was a little frustrated. I mean, really, Ms. Nielson? Could we not, I don't know, simply celebrate the arrival at the point the entire previous book worked so hard to get us to for at least a little while? But, the further I got into the book, the more I enjoyed it. As in THE FALSE PRINCE, the chemistry between Jaron and Imogen was still there. I'm not going to say much more about that except that the way he treated her at first made me want to scream; but he did something later proving he'd learned from that action, and that really redeemed him for me. Jaron (Sage?) learns a lot in this book, actually--especially how to see other people's feelings, and how to better share his own. And he continues to have such quick wit that I found myself laughing at his responses. As I said, the blurb doesn't say enough about everything that goes down in TRK. He infiltrates the most unlikely group of people, and one person you'd never expect to come against him wants him dead. I wish I could say things were wrapped up in that perty little bow, but as usual, the moment things seemed wrapped up and resolved and I had that "yay to this ending" smile on my face, another issue arose. Which brings me to my conclusion: Why must I insist on reading books the second they come out? The final book in the Ascendance Trilogy is sure to be full of action--it'll probably be a year until that's a possibility, but I can't wait
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I had totally forgotten how much I loved The False Prince, the first installment in The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen.  I had also forgotten how much I absolutely loved the cocky attitude and personality of main character, Prince Jaron.  The minute he opened his mouth, and the first one liner came out of his mouth, I was instantly caught up again in this fabulous world created by Jennifer A. Nielsen. The book continues pretty close to where the first one left off.  Prince Jaron is now King of Carthya, but he doesn’t seem to have the backing of his regents or those who are supposed to advise and support him, as they did his deceased father.  The story opens up during the funeral of his family.   But in true Jaron style, rather than being at the actual funeral, he is scaling the walls of his castle where he happens to catch a glimpse of a figure lurking in the bushes.  A figure he knows is hiding and awaiting his appearance so that they can assassinate him. But to his surprise, his former friend and now new enemy Roden is keeping company with those that want Jaron dead, and with him he bears the bad news of an impending war.  After much deliberation with the head of his guard, it has been decided the Jaron must hide and have the regents appoint a Steward who will act as King until Jaron comes of age.  And as we’ve learned in The False Prince, Jaron does not follow rules all that well. With his own agenda in mind, Jaron faces the danger that threatens his people and his land.  Truths surrounding the death of his family come to light, and allies are found in the most unsuspecting places.  But will Jaron’s actions be enough to save all he has left safe?  Or will his out of control behavior and his speak before speaking ways get him in more trouble than he was bargaining for. The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen is another hit!  Once I started reading, I was swept away again and the ending came all too soon.  Authoer, Jennifer A. Nielsen, weaves her magic yet again and produces another installment that has just as many twists and turns as the last.  I loved how little bits thrown into the story come back around and into the light as actually meaning more than what it originally meant.  It was all these little surprises that made The Runaway King what it is…a work of genius. We are reunited once again with all the characters that we love (and hate), and we’re also introduced a new cast of characters that will also find a way into your heart, and when you start reading it’ll feel like you never left.  And for those of you who fell in love with Jaron’s attitude and free spirited ways, you will surly get your fill from him again in this next installment. There are many gasp worthy moments in The Runaway King and many parts especially near the end where Jaron’s master plan and facts that led to it that will make you go “ahhhh…”, and have you flipping back to those moments in the book and see them in a new light. Fans of The False King will devour The Runaway King.  I recommend this series to fans of fantasy reads, smart ass male leads and told in a male POV will thoroughly enjoy The Ascendance Trilogy.  I can’t wait to see what the final installment to this trilogy will bring!  Hurry, hurry, I need more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing sequel. Can't wait for the third book. -S
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of myy favorites. The suspense, action and plot are AMAZING! Thanks J.A.N for this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books were quite impressive. The author is not afraid of conflict and the character development was really good. For me 5 stars is tolkien, 4 stars is HP and 3 stars is worth reading. If you liked Rangers Apprentice, or other series of that genre,you will enjoy this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is super good. I LOVED it. Jaron is super tough, witty, resourceful, and he always makes me laugh. His balk-talk and fiery attitude always get him into trouble. He reminds me a little of Day from Legend with his all his sneaking around and building climbing. I love when he goes to the pirates and has to do all this crazy stuff like fight with a broken leg and untie his hands while he is underwater. It just shows how strong he is and what he will do for carthya. I'm super excited for The Shadow Throne. CAN NOT WAIT! If u haven't read this series go and buy it. The best 20$ for two books you will ever spend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, great series. Can't wait for the third!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it but the first one was better,cant wait for next one to come out is it in stores yet?
pagese More than 1 year ago
I anticipated this one a great deal. I loved the first one and had extremely high hopes that the sequel would live up to the build up. I was so pleased to have it be exactly that! Jaron really captured my heart. I believe his desire to rule his people is true. The problem lies in the fact that he is head strong. His regents aren't use to having a king that might actually rule for the good of the people. They want a docile king so that they can continue to enjoy the kickbacks that come their way. However, I knew that Jaron would not sit back and let his country be taken from him. What I did not expect were the lengths he would go to ensure the safety of his kingdom. He's able to cross his countries borders and integrate into the very group that could do some of the worst damage. He has to prove himself over and over again. His wiliness to go through some of most excruciating circumstances becomes the stuff of legends. In the end, he earns back the person he wants most to lead his army. What remains to be seen is who will at his side to rule as Queen. I think one of things that makes this series so enjoyable is the dialogue. Nielsen has a way with words that make the characters seem alive and real. The story may be fantasy, but it rings true. I can't wait to read the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sage is a yotal smartass and a badass...best book ive read in years plus the writing is amazing. Cant wait for book three.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and twists at every corner and you got to read this book because it is great and you got to buy it
JoanneLevy More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy back in November, but sat on it for a while before I read it-mostly because I was busy, but also because a tiny bit of me was afraid it wouldn't live up to the awesomeness that was book 1 of the series, The False Prince. It' no secret that THE FALSE PRINCE was my absolute favorite book of 2012, so reading the second book was scary. What if it didn't hold up? Well, I needn't have worried. THE RUNAWAY KING was as good, if not (gasp!) better than the first book. The plot was fast-paced and exciting, the characters (especially Jaron, who I ADORED even more in this installment-which I hadn't thought possible) were well drawn and very sympathetic. 100 pages from the end, I was already getting pangs of sadness over the end of the book drawing near-a sure sign of a book ranking on my lifetime favorites list. My only complaint about this book was the long wait before I can get my hands on the third in the trilogy. Highly recommended.
Brookes_Books More than 1 year ago
Well, as soon as I finished The False Prince, I requested The Runaway King at the library.  I figured I would do the same as I did with the first book and listen to it on the way to work.  This worked well: my commute was faster and more interesting.  However, this time around was a bit different than with The False Prince. Julia, my 12 year old, read these books this summer.  She was so excited I was listening to them and asked if we could listen when we were running errands.  She would also often ask me where I was in the story.  Last week was the Scholastic Book Fair at her school.  All she wanted was The False Prince and The Runaway King.  What deal!  They were paperback and on sale.   Well, one day after we bought them she said, "Where are you in the story?"  I had been listening to the story and told her where I was.  As I made dinner, she read aloud to me.  She was just so excited for me to keep going. The story was very exciting.  I never knew where the author was going to go with it.  I couldn't figure out how this story was going to end.  There were twists and turns and sometimes it made my stomach hurt with anxiety.  There were times that I thought the author made some pretty big leaps, but at the same time, that is why this is a fantasy.  When it got down to the last couple of chapters, I couldn't wait until I was driving to work.  So instead, I pulled out my daughter's new copy of the book and read the last few chapters instead of listening to them.  This was another great story and I can't wait for the third book, The Shadow Throne. Warnings: Stabbings, murder, sword fighting, thieving I would let my 12 year old read this book.  She read it before I did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutaly Amazing! I cannot wait for the third one to come out.
ElizabethT More than 1 year ago
Great read for all ages. Can't wait to read the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best series i read both books and thought they were great tha song cruise helps a lot to
wiseowlMN More than 1 year ago
I couldn't wait to read book two of this series, and now that I did I can't wait for book three. There is some rehashing of book one so this could be a stand alone book, but do not miss the excitement of book one. The complex plot has many twists and turns, and many surprises.  Pirates make the appealing to  YA readers.  There is a war coming and fighting before, but this book has discussion of the problems of war and doesn't just glorify  it. This would a good book for discussion in class.
rac-s More than 1 year ago
I like the series so far !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic read! I loved the pace of the story and was sucked in from the first page I cannot wait to read the second book going to buy it now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got the preview for the book and i can already see the chemistry between king jaron and imojen i love the author love imogen love king jaron hate roden and hate hate hate CONNER UGGG!!!!!! Lol read this book/preview you will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the false prince and can't wait to read the runaway king!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this amazing book, Jaron/Sage runs away to Avenia and joins the pirates. With many new friends, Jaron must find a way to escape the Avenian pirates, save Roden, Fink, and Imogen. With a surprising twist at the end, this book will make you want to read it over and over again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is pretty good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book! Jaron is probably my favorite hero out of all of the books I have read(trust me I have read a lot.) Jennifer Nelson wasted no time getting to the action, I think that really shows a lot about Jaron and what a quick thinker he is. You should definately continue reading this series because it is a good one:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first book it was amazing! Looking forward to reading this one soon. This series it action and adventure in medivalish times great for boys and girls from ages 9-15